The Colony ★½

The Colony is a film that feels Canadian. It has all of the parts needed to make a compelling piece of post-apocalyptic science fiction (a genre that I love) - actors with chops, an ambitious story, tension between protagonists, and villains worth fearing, to name a few - but under-delivers on all of them. Instead it feels like a bottled case study for the type of film the writer/director admires, but doesn't know how to make properly. Everything in it feels tied down, with characters not given enough development and a narrative arc that offers a lot of unresolved potential.

Like many Canadian films with restricted budgets, The Colony restrains itself from actually delivering much value. The effects are fairly impressive - there's something a little less polished than a Hollywood blockbuster, but convincing enough for immersion - and we do get a sense of the scale of damage humanity has wreaked on the world. But this bleak planet of ice could be interesting, if only it could be used effectively.

In the end, the film's plot tries to cram a bigger-than-the-colony subplot to hinge the film's finale upon, but it ultimately fails simply by being too ambitious for what it's capable of achieving. (Typically Canadian.)